EA Origin installs hit 3.9 million

EA CFO Eric Brown says online distribution service is growing steadily; freemium brand extensions bringing in new customers.


Earlier this week, Electronic Arts CFO Eric Brown traveled to the Citi 2011 Tech Conference, dishing on Battlefield 3's preorder sales figures and Star Wars: The Old Republic release status. Today, Brown took another turn on the investor conference speakers circuit, offering up new information on its Origin store and freemium success stories as part of UBS's Best of Americas 2011 event.

The freemium Battlefield Heroes isn't cannibalizing franchise sales.
The freemium Battlefield Heroes isn't cannibalizing franchise sales.

According to Brown, the Origin client has been installed by 3.9 million users. A full-on replacement for the EA Store, Origin serves as a hub and infrastructure for downloading and playing PC games, as well as ordering boxed products for other platforms. Though it currently only offers games published by EA, Brown reaffirmed the company's intent to begin selling other third-party software through the service.

Brown also addressed EA's strategy of extending many of its popular franchises with freemium online versions, saying that results have varied from mildly to wildly positive. Specifically, Brown said Battlefield Play4Free has brought 1.4 million players to the franchise, while Dragon Age Legends has introduced 600,000 gamers to the series.

Those numbers spiked dramatically for Need for Speed World and Battlefield Heroes. EA's freemium racing game has been played by 7 million players who have not played a high-def version of Need for Speed. Similarly, 7.2 million Battlefield Heroes gamers have never played an installment in the franchise on high-definition platforms.

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